“Tradition is nothing but the uninterrupted chain of innovations.” (Le Corbusier)
The Mass Timber Academy’s 'Timber Innovator’ programme is aimed at architects and structural engineers already experienced in the use of mass timber and who wish to extend their abilities in this area into research and development collaborations with academia and industry. This is a unique opportunity to learn the methodologies and processes required to be involved in the cutting edge of innovation in the manufacture, design and application of engineered timber products and systems, creating new and ever more exciting possibilities for advanced timber technologies.
what is a Timber Innovator
There is no doubt that we live in unpredictable times: change, whether we like it or not, is one of the few constants that nowadays affect the lives of us all. And in no area is this more true than construction, where multiple external and mainly negative factors suggest a perfect storm lies ahead for the industry. Traditionally reactive to legislative and regulatory change rather than providing the leadership required to deliver incisive, visionary action, the UK construction sector’s predicament is perhaps best illustrated by the ever-diminishing emphasis (and investment) it places on research, development and innovation.
Yet innovation is fundamental to the industry’s future and to the career opportunities for the professionals that serve it. Arguably, this is the one area that architects and engineers can lead the industry forward: as creative professionals trained to conceive - and deliver - new ways of doing things. Innovation in the development and use of mass timber systems emanates partly from experience and the desire to solve emerging challenges, but also from awareness of current technological advances in the field of timber design.
There are more than 60k tree species in the world, many of which offer exceptional properties for construction and thus ample scope for innovation. Whether in engineered or modified form, these properties can be enhanced or transformed completely into new products and systems that offer entirely new possibilities for architects and engineers. Computational design and advanced manufacturing technologies are already extending these opportunities into new and highly innovative building forms and ever-taller timber structures.
are new developments possible?
What does it take to become a Timber Innovator?
The Mass Timber Academy’s Timber Innovator programme provides the necessary introduction to responsible innovation and the management methods needed to lead participants through the project conception, research, development, testing and commercialisation processes. The course builds on the foundation of knowledge acquired from earlier participation in the Academy’s Continuing Professional Education (CPE) programme or from experience acquired in practice in the use of mass timber products and systems.. Participants will learn about:
| the wider culture of timber innovation
| process, product, material, system innovation
| responsible innovation (PAS 440:2020)
| innovation management (ISO 56000)
| cross-disciplinary collaboration / innovation networks
| competitive strategy
| thought leadership
The Mass Timber Academy’s Timber Innovator Programme:
Masterclasses - gaining in-depth technical knowledge and experience
Participatory Design workshops - building you own innovation networks
Funding and prototyping timber innovation
Interviews - meet the innovators in timber manufacture, design and construction
Case Studies - building a library of timber innovation
Applying timber innovation in your business
Current initiatives / new opportunities
Visits to manufacturers and research centres when circumstances permit
The programme extends over 12 weeks and requires three to four hours per week of self-paced learning.